Planted in the center of Highland Park, one of Richmond, Virginia's most challenged areas, Boaz & Ruth advances a mission of rebuilding lives and communities through relationships, training, transitional jobs, and economic revitalization.
Three key strategies are:
Empowering the physically blighted commercial corridor of Highland Park by restoring buildings, operating social enterprises and providing jobs.
Rebuilding lives of men and women needing a second chance through relationships, transitional jobs and training.
Connecting Highland Park neighbors and our program participants to the wider Richmond community through shared experiences that bridge racial, economic, and geographic barriers
A key component of the strategies is collaborative partnerships with our neighbors in Highland Park, with the criminal justice system, other non-profits and government agencies, as well as individuals and the business, faith-based and academic communities. The creative vision of Boaz & Ruth has received national recognition including an invitation to the White House for an event recognizing social entrepreneurs who pursue innovative solutions to serious social issues.
Because Highland Park is in the center of 6 of the 7 census blocks with the most number of returning folks from prison and jail, we have developed a formal reentry program to help individuals rebalance their lives. When someone is released from prison, a decent job, a safe home and healthy relationships are hard to come by. Add to these challenges of reentry the fact that individuals often return to communities weighed down by the very problems and issues that help spawn crime and it is easy to understand the vicious cycle of recidivism. It is difficult to sustain long-term individual change without changing the community as well. Who better to be change agents for a community than community members themselves who may have contributed to the community challenges? Men and women doing the hard work of personal change are changing the community around them as well. That's what makes Boaz & Ruth's program so unique.